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Thread: Thinking about buying a pair of binos for viewing, best pair to start?

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    Default Thinking about buying a pair of binos for viewing, best pair to start?



    Hello All,

    I've been thinking about buying a decent pair of binos to spot out some basic constellations or maybe some Messier's but not too sure which to get.

    I've been thinking the Celestron 15x70's but I'm curious to hear other opinions.

    Thanks,

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    Default Re: Thinking about buying a pair of binos for viewing, best pair to start?

    normally the 15X would need a mount- 1st time using binos for astro the 15X may be a little difficult, id recommend starting off with 10-12X
    if at 1st you dont succeed, screw it
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    Default Re: Thinking about buying a pair of binos for viewing, best pair to start?

    10x50's are always a good starting point (or even 7x50's if you have young eyes!).
    You can hand-hold them without much trouble, and you can see most Messier objects in them.
    Certainly the bigger ones give great views, but at the cost of a narrower field of view, and they do need a mount of some sort.
    There are heaps of 10x50's on the market, second-hand as well, and even the cheap ones aren't too bad- although I think you would want to pay at least $100 for new ones to avoid the real cheapies (and avoid the red coatings).
    Have fun looking!

    -Dean

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    Default Re: Thinking about buying a pair of binos for viewing, best pair to start?

    With 15x70 you will struggle to appreciate constellations - their field of view (fov) is far too small - and unless you are experienced you will probs struggle to know exactly what you are looking at. A tripod or some other form of mount will also be pretty much essential. You will however get good views of some messier objects, if you can find them.

    My personal recommendation if you are interested in the constellations and have some light pollution would be to go for something with a wide fov, probs 7x or 8x mags - If you are lucky enough to have real dark skys all you really need for constellations are your eyes
    Don't forget an adjustable red LED light and a planisphere or star chart and a comfortable reclining chair. IMO there is a lot of pleasure to be had in learning the night sky.
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    Default Re: Thinking about buying a pair of binos for viewing, best pair to start?

    i have the 12 x 50, love them

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    Default Re: Thinking about buying a pair of binos for viewing, best pair to start?

    I'm looking at getting my first pair too. Right now I have found a great deal on some Bushnell LP Legacy 10x50s. I hope that I can hand hold them steadily...the general consensus from what I've read is that 10x is still pretty easy to keep still. Also, compared to 7x50, the 10x50 will make objects appear over 40% larger and brighter, which is a major plus for me. Also, the Bushnells I'm considering are fully multicoated, BaK-4 and porro prisms...the best you can get really. Also rubberized grip, waterproof and fog proof. The list price is around $150 but they are on sale on ebay for less than $90! What a steal. I hope they work out.

    Consider how much you are willing to lug a tripod around with you, should you decide to go for ones greater than 10x. Since I'm just starting out, I don't wanna have to do that, but fortunately I have a camera tripod available so if I decide to, I can pick up an adapter for them.

    Let us know what you decide and how it goes!
    Also, if anyone has experience with the Bushnells I'm considering, I'd love your reviews.

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    Default Re: Thinking about buying a pair of binos for viewing, best pair to start?

    Quote Originally Posted by leafofgrass View Post
    I'm looking at getting my first pair too. Right now I have found a great deal on some Bushnell LP Legacy 10x50s. I hope that I can hand hold them steadily...the general consensus from what I've read is that 10x is still pretty easy to keep still. Also, compared to 7x50, the 10x50 will make objects appear over 40% larger and brighter, which is a major plus for me. Also, the Bushnells I'm considering are fully multicoated, BaK-4 and porro prisms...the best you can get really. Also rubberized grip, waterproof and fog proof. The list price is around $150 but they are on sale on ebay for less than $90! What a steal. I hope they work out.

    .
    The best thing is to try a pair (or pairs) from a friend , relative or neighbour to see what magnification you can hold steady. You will find that it is a whole different ball game viewing objects in daylight compared to looking at stars so try them out on the real thing.

    You are right that the 10x will make things appear larger - but not necessarily brighter. People will say that the exit pupil on the 7x is larger than you need as your pupil is very unlikely to dilate that much but my experience is that it makes them easier to use. The other thing to consider are the relative fields of view.

    As i said the best thing to do is to try and handle some pairs at night before you commit to buying a pair blind over the net. Good luck
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    Default Re: Thinking about buying a pair of binos for viewing, best pair to start?

    I tried getting some 15x70 several months ago, tried a couple different companies, but I found they all sucked. They were badly out of collimation and I couldn't fix them. They also felt very cheap. You probably won't get anything good without spending a few hundred dollars.

    I would go with some 10x50 instead.

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    Default Re: Thinking about buying a pair of binos for viewing, best pair to start?

    I am using an old old pair of focal 8x40s and they do fairly well .. i dont know if i would go over 10x or 12x .. I do have to say i bought a really cheap pair of 10x50s and they are cheap made in china crap .. the focal 8x40s do a better job .. i would stick with a good name brand .. i have found the ones with the plastic bodies are way out of alignment and dont hold it well once you do fix them.. temperature fluctuations will cause them to go out of alignment ..
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    Default Re: Thinking about buying a pair of binos for viewing, best pair to start?

    I totally agree with those above regarding very high magnification and small FOV. My first pair was a Celestron 25x70... way too much magnification and a very small FOV. I first thought I'd put them on a lightweight camera tripod, but ended up permanently mounting them on a very hefty (and expensive) professional tripod.

    They have worked out okay, as I bring the rig outside when I'm having my morning coffee about two hours before sunrise. If I had it to "do over", I'd stick to something like 10 x 50.
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